601 New Jersey Leads The Public To Private Wave
Beacon Capital Partners’ transformation of 601 New Jersey Ave has set a new standard for private Class-A office space in the Capitol Hill submarket. The company's strategic capital improvement project has turned the building—which had been fully leased to the Federal Trade Commission until late 2014—into a Class-A office with superior amenities and services in a prime location.
“When planning our renovation," Beacon Capital Partners managing director, and asset manager for 601 New Jersey, Karen Gentry, says, "we engaged the market by talking to tenant brokers to see what their clients wanted, studying office and workplace trends and analyzing the bones of the original building.”
She believes the rooftop terrace is a perfect example of this comprehensive approach.
"601 New Jersey's original rooftop patio was uninviting and underutilized," Karen tells Bisnow. "When we looked at workplace trends in today’s market, we saw that tenants want flexible outdoor space that gives them a full spectrum of uses, such as space for impromptu team meetings, a high-end client event and everything in between."
With this in mind, Beacon completely rethought the rooftop terrace. Now equipped with WiFi, a caterer’s pantry, shading and ready-to-go entertaining infrastructure, including a bar and café tables, the space satisfies every tenant need.
"If you stop by these days," Karen says, "there will always be someone utilizing the space, either working on their laptop or catching up on the news on the outdoor TVs."
“Creating a property with strong ownership and every amenity that a tenant could want resonates to anyone looking for a step up in office space, not just those on Capitol Hill,” Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman and Bisnow Power Broker Laurie McMahon says.
In fact, Laurie says half of the building’s tenants—who take up 65k SF in the building and include Leavitt Partners, Summit (pictured below) and AT&T—came from the CBD and East End.
“The idea of the uber-traditional, wood-clad and stuffy government affairs office is definitely changing," Laurie says. "Firms are entertaining in their space more and trying to attract and retain talent at all levels. A building that’s full of light, sustainable, easily accessible, and a healthy and productive place to work is one of the ways to do all of that—and 601 New Jersey offers this kind of space.”
The 260k SF, steel-framed building also features a dynamic social media display and a Brian Dailey art installation in the lobby (pictured below), a secure bike room, a state-of-the-art fitness center with locker rooms and a 50-plus person conference facility and pantry.
With an Energy Star rating of 98 out of 100, Wired Score Silver Certification and LEED Platinum Certification by the USGBC, 601 New Jersey is within walking distance of Union Station, the Senate and countless restaurants, retail outlets, hotels, apartments and museums.
When asked about the influence of the younger workforce on the office market, Cushman & Wakefield VP James Collins says the challenge of attracting younger workers is making many ask questions about how to retain employees and keep them creatively engaged.
Beacon’s focus at 601 New Jersey, however, has been on delivering top-quality amenities and amazing workspaces for all levels of tenant populations. For example, bike commuting in DC has more than doubled in the last five years and it's not just among the young.
"Convenient, appointed and secure bike facilities with ready access to locker and shower facilities are highly desired by a cross-section of office occupants," James says.
With all of these amenities, a prime location on the Hill and the introduction of 15k SF of ground-floor retail space, 601 New Jersey has elevated the Capitol Hill submarket, achieved a high-profile tenant roster and delivered one of the most impressive projects in town.
“No stone has gone unturned in this repositioning effort," Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director Richard Tonner says. "Every potential need has been perfectly executed, right down to the delivery of several high-end spec suites in the 2,500 to 4,500 SF range for those small, but discerning tenants, who will enjoy every advantage of the building’s larger tenants.”